Tuesday, March 15
Swirling clouds dance as the charmed viper,
At a prideful rat they hiss their anger,
A grieving heart gives an offering in the frost,
Again, mirrors, beware of them.
As always, check out Web Fiction Guide for awesome webnovels.
Episode 7 will be on Monday, enjoy your weekend!
Aleksei strolled through the hall to his first class. He was unusually cheerful as he enjoyed the feeling of dryness on his hands. But he was also discretely toying with his new talent. He had quickly become aware of latent humidity when he had used the bathroom that morning, and had figured out how to materialise vapour from thin air. With a flick of his wrist, he bid condensation to form on his fingertip. He allowed the water to trickle down to his palm then repelled it, causing the drop to evaporate into a tiny wisp of mist.
He jumped when Yegor came up beside him and heartily pounded his back. “Dobrae utro! Kak zhizn?” he greeted and inquired cheerfully.
“Atlichna!” Aleksei responded, recovering from his initial startle. “Actually, I’m very happy.”
“Why? Did you get a date?” Yegor asked cheekily.
Aleksei’s eyebrow twitched as he remembered that he was, after all, talking with Yegor. “Nyet, I just feel great. It's as though the sun just came out after a storm.”
Yegor always appreciated his friend's poetic expressions. He was actually quite envious of the gift, imagining how many dates he could get with a silver tongue. “Well, glad to--,”
Yegor was not able to finish because he accidentally side-swiped another boy, causing himself to spin around and land on his rear. Aleksei helped Yegor up and turned to the boy. They were about to apologise, when they saw whom he had bumped.
Standing over them was a mountain of muscle topped with short, needle-like hair that went by the name of Radik. His cronies Sasha, Pieter, and Mikhail surrounded him. The giant of a boy pushed Yegor roughly, knocking him down again.
“Whoa, Radik! It was an accident! No need to be hasty.” Aleksei cautioned, with a passive stare into the dark youth’s eyes.
The hallway fell quiet. No one reprimanded Radik. With stunned fascination, the students watched, like gamblers at a bear fight.
Radik jutted out his scruffy jaw, where a nasty scar ran from his chin to the corner of his nose. As he raised his fist, Aleksei visibly gulped. Radik smiled. Nothing was more satisfying to him than pounding in the face of an upstart. It had been too long since anyone had stood up to him.
But Radik stayed his hand when he noticed the blond boy nod towards something behind him.
He then heard Pieter whisper, “Teacher!”
Radik backed off, but not without a quick tug on Aleksei and Yegor’s sweaters in a way that could have been mistaken as being friendly, a reminder to them of his authority. Without another word, he left with his three comrades in tow.
After they passed, Aleksei realised he had been holding his breath; at least he must have been, since he found himself gasping for air.
“That was either brave or insane, but thanks.” Yegor said, still shaken up by the incident.
Aleksei smiled, “Not really. I knew the teacher was there the whole time.” He looked around at the staring faces of the other pupils. “What? Don’t you have class?”
The students all turned around and shuffled away, casting curious glances back at the pair.
“The others are going to be placing bets now,” Yegor warned. “As to how long it will be before you come to class with a couple of black eyes.”
“I doubt it,” Aleksei casually refuted, “I have avoided being extraordinary all these years. I hope not to ruin that with only three months till my graduation.”
Yegor shook his head, “You don’t understand. Radik has been waiting for this. He’s bored and he wants a challenge. You’re just unlucky and, well, different enough for him to take notice. I’m begging you, be careful!”
Aleksei stopped in his tracks and stared at Yegor as if he had just punched him in the chest.
“Are you okay?” Yegor’s forehead creased in confusion.
It took a while for Aleksei to respond as he pondered the statement. “Umm, yes, I’m fine.” he assured him. Is it that noticeable that I’m different today?
"Yeah, kinda." After a pat on his friend’s shoulder, Yegor departed to his own classroom.
In front of the door to his own class, Aleksei paused. “Different huh?” he muttered thoughtfully. He looked at his hand and formed a puddle in his palm, until it started to overflow and drizzle onto the floor. Flexing his fingers outwards, the water evaporated in a large puff. He watched intently as the vapour was dispersed by invisible air currents.
For the first time, he wondered where his gift, or whatever it was, came from, and why he had it.
The hairs on the nape of his neck rose. An eerie feeling, as though someone watched, clutched him. He turned his head both ways, but saw no one. Then he looked around the corner and saw a shadowed head peeking out of a doorway, making his heart jump. The figure turned around, and he heard the sound of the mop bucket wheeling down the hall. Something in that momentary exchange terrified him. His heart pounded heavily in his chest, as he tried to reassure himself that the person would have been too far away to see what he had been doing. Unable to shake off his fear, he quickly entered the relative security of the classroom.
Neon lights from the bowling alley sign across the street glowed through the sheer curtains, illuminating the small suite in a nauseating swirl of colour. To further aggravate the atmosphere, a cellular phone rang and vibrated, causing the sleeper to open his cold eyes. He rubbed his face and bald head with his hands and got up from the bed. Snatching his cell phone, he glanced at the number, and promptly answered, “Allo Administrator.” He tried to keep weariness from showing in his voice.
“How was the visit with our Dr. Roth?” replied the older voice.
“It was…” The Czech paused, “unrevealing. However, she provided one less loose string we have to worry about.”
“Excellent!” the ‘Administrator’ replied, “I think you deserve a hiatus from your current assignment.”
The man smiled, “I’m listening,”
“It has been a long time since you have visited St. Petersburg, am I right?” The Administrator asked.
“Yes it has.” The Czech replied then inquired, “What exactly do you need me to do?”
“We are going to be testing a possible recruit. It's a young lady that has shown immense potential, nearly equal with your own. She lives with a brother who also has abilities, but he is far less promising.”
“She sounds intriguing,” The Czech replied, leaning forward eagerly.
“I thought you would say that.” The Administrator chuckled then continued, “But before you give her a visit, I would like you to stop in Estonia. There is a third who has interested us. We would like you to collect him.”
“Very well, Administrator. I will return to Moscow after this, da?” The Czech asked eagerly.
“Of course! You will need to train our new recruits. We have a plane ready for you. Da svidanya.” The older man hung up.
The Czech sighed wearily as he rose and began packing. It was not as if he was receiving much rest anyway. His task was easy as he had few belongings to speak of; a change of clothes, a black leather jacket, heavy-duty boots, town shoes, a razor, and his silver-plated handgun. He checked the magazine, making sure it was full. Satisfied, he put it into his side holster.
He left the room and walked down the hall to the elevator. Inside, the back wall was a large mirror and when he looked up, he backed away in disbelief. Instead of his own reflection, he saw a blonde woman staring back at him. She seemed young, probably in her mid-teens, but despite her youthful appearance, her eyes displayed deadly disapproval. She cocked her head and glared at him, her golden tresses falling before her face as she extended her hand towards his chest. Her arm seemed to crawl out of the mirror while her fingers sharpened and turned into crystalline shards. Then the glass shattered in a spider-web pattern, breaking her visage into pieces. He blinked and the mirror was once again whole, and his own face was staring back at him. He was not the type of person to be disturbed, but this had shaken him. However he soon began to question the event, and by the time he was on the private jet a couple hours later, the memory had all but vanished.